A while ago I read a book titled, “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey. I know….a Hockey Blog referencing Oprah, kind of strange…. I will just say it was my wife’s fault…
Anyway, I’m glad I read it. The book was very interesting and relates to a lot of things in life and makes you think about what you are really sure of. It made me start to think about this past season and my experience coaching the Wilkes Barre/Scranton U16 AAA hockey team. As we are in the last few weekends of the season I have started to reflect back on things and am trying to make sense of a whirlwind season. A hockey season has a great way of teaching you a lot about yourself, your teammates and the people involved in the game.
I love coaching my guys and this age group. It has been an incredibly rewarding year. I am so grateful for the experience.
I’m not really sure how much I learned this season but here are 20 things that I think I now know for sure. (hope you enjoy. This is still just a game remember……)
1. The goalie who is not playing will always, always, always have to be reminded to get the water bottles and warm up pucks. It never fails……
2. Team Managers should always be nominated for team MVP award. Ours should be called the Matty Award. 🙂
3. Practice is the best place in the world to take refuge from teenage problems…..
4. It is virtually impossible to get a good cup of coffee at an ice rink.
5. Your team is never as good or never as bad as you think it is.
6. Team bus trips are still the best…..
7. The hardest working and most dedicated players on your team are probably the ones getting recruited or moving on to higher levels.
8. The only thing you win in October is the respect of your players.
9. There are a lot of good people like referees, scorekeepers, league officials who dedicate a lot of time and effort and get crapped on unnecessarily.
10. Internet hockey ranking sites are ridiculous and distracting.
11. Everyone still wants to play on the power play……..even the parents.
12. Team meals are still the best……
13. Players respond a whole lot better to mentoring and teaching than to punishment and negativity.
14. Never eat seafood on the road that has traveled further than you…..
15. Good practices take care of wins……John Wooden was right.
16. If you treat your players like babies, they will act like babies. If you treat them like young men, they will respond like young men.
17. Music has changed….players listening to it loudly has not….
18. Hockey parents are the greatest, most dedicated, loving, supportive, sacrificing, crazy, whacky, bizarre group of people on the planet.
19. Coaching showcase and tournament weekends might be more tiring than actually playing…..
20. Hockey is still the greatest game on earth.
Best of luck to everyone as the season winds down!